Help! Pokemon Go isn't working - what is wrong with it?

With every craze comes a backlash and for Pokemon Go, the many of the problems have stemmed from server demands. This was very common when the game first launched in 2016, but with the drop of the second-gen Pokemon on 16 February, some of these old problems have cropped up again.

Here's a run-down of some of the common problems with Pokemon Go and what you might be able to do about it. 

You might be playing the game and notice your Trainer is just walking on the spot and nothing seems to be happening. Firstly, tap the Poke Ball at the bottom of the screen to access the menu. If the menu doesn't open, the app has crashed. 

Close the app and restart it - on Android, tap the "recent apps" and swipe the app away. On iPhone, double tap the home button and swipe up. Then reopen the app and resume playing, otherwise you might be missing those steps and all the action, and just draining battery.

This was a problem with early version of the game, but were ironed out in updates to Pokemon Go through 2016. Now, if your game isn't running as slick and fast as you'd like, there's a couple of things that could be going on. Firstly, a poor server connection can cause this, so peak Pokemon Go times can cause a laggy experience, because it takes a long time for the information to arrive from Niantic's servers.

It could also be the demand on your phone. A top tip here is to turn off the AR side of things. When you go to catch a Pokemon, tap the toggle switch in the top right-hand corner. This reduces the work that your phone has to do and can speed the experience up.

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If you keep seeing a spinning symbol in the top left of your screen, that means that your phone is trying to connect to the Pokemon Go servers. The demand on the servers due to the game's popularity can be really high following updates, and server connection issues account for most of the problems with Pokemon Go. 

You can either wait - sometimes it will only be a few seconds - and then start playing again. Or you might find the app becomes unresponsive and it crashes, as above in point 1, so restart the app again. 

GPS is needed to tell the Pokemon Go app where you are. It tracks your movement for hatching eggs as well as keeping you in the right place on the map. When you open the game, it's usual to see "GPS signal not found" for a brief moment, before it locates you.

If that's on all the time, check that your phone has "location" switched on. On some phones you can switch this off manually and that will stop you playing the game. Location is also drawn from your data connection, so you'll need to be connected to a network.

If you get the "no internet connectivity" message across the top of your phone, that's the fault of your phone or network, not Pokemon Go itself. Check the obvious things - that your phone isn't in flight mode, that data is turned on, and that you haven't run out of data. 

Pokemon Go doesn't use a lot of data, but for those with a limited data package, you could easily run out after a lot of playing.

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The most exciting parts of Pokemon Go are when you're trying to catch a rare Pokemon, or when you're in the final stages of battling at a Gym. It's also a point that's prone to failure, because it's so dependent on a good connection to the server.

Often the app becomes unresponsive when catching a Pokemon because of server connection issues. If the app stops responding - your Poke Ball isn't moving and there's no longer a symbol telling you it's trying to connect - you'll have to restart the app as in point 1. If you're lucky, the Pokemon you were trying to catch might still be there. 

The same applies to battles. We've lost battles for the same reason, having to wait for the server to connect. You can also try turning off the data connection and back on again, to see if that jolts it back into life. Again, in battles, it's worth turning off AR, because it just slows things down.

To hatch a Pokemon egg you have to put them into an incubator and walk. When you've covered the distance needed, that egg will hatch, giving you a new Pokemon. However, you have to have the app open for the distance to count. 

If your egg vanishes, it might have hatched, but you didn't get the notification because of server issues or app crashes. Check your Pokemon list, and search by "recent" - you'll see any recent additions there. This problem has mostly been resolved through app updates.

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Pokemon Go uses your phone to the max. It wants the screen on, data connected and regular GPS points, as well as the AR view through the camera. If you're walking around for an hour with the screen on, that will kill the battery. It's part of the game, and part of having a smartphone, so it's completely normal. 

You can try reducing the brightness, closing other apps that might be running in the background, or the safest bet, is to get a battery case or external battery to recharge your device so you can keep playing. There is a battery saver mode, however, and that's well worth using.

Pokemon Go, like other apps and games, needs specific minimum hardware to work properly. Here are the details of the supported devices:

Pokemon Go iPhone requirements: iPhone 5 or newer, iOS 8 or above. Jailbroken devices aren't supported.

Pokemon Go Android requirements: Android 4.4 or above, 1280 x 720 pixels or more.

If the app won't open at all, or you open it and found you've been logged out, that's caused by server issues - like a number of other problems on this list. All you can do is close the app and try again. 

If you're logged out, don't worry, when you sign back in, all your game progress will be there. 

If you buy something with Coins and that doesn't appear in your inventory, then you might have to try logging out of the app and back in again. If that doesn't work, try restarting your device too.

If you find that PokeStops are empty, this is a classic slow-loading data error. You'll know it's happened, because you'll walk up to a PokeStop and tap on the swirling icon. When it opens, there will be no name and no picture. If you stop and wait, it will slowly load, but you'll also see that spinning loading icon in the top left-hand corner. Eventually the content will appear and you can try to spin it and collect, but often this again takes a long time waiting.

Sometimes, if you encounter this error, the Poke Stop will think you've already collected and you'll have to wait for about 5 minutes before you can spin again.

We will continue to add to this list of problems and solutions as they arise. 

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